I mean, you get the general idea from watching sitcoms, family shows and the Disney channel. They are kids, but also mini adults. They have peer pressure and puberty to deal. They have busy lives and an unknown future. They are trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into the world. Its tough.
But there is an emotional, mental and physical demand, that I just wasn't prepared for! The conflict of emotions is, at times, overwhelming! (not that it is hard to overwhelm me at any time!).
I know "they" say life is like a roller coaster. It has its up and its down, but as long as you hold on tight and keep a sense of humour you will enjoy the ride.
Well, I think raising a teenage girl is like riding a roller coaster in the haunted house for the first time, which is situated on a mine field! It has the usual ups and downs, but you can't see where you are headed. You don't know what to expect next, you cannot see where you are going. And there are a lot of scary visions/images that pop up along the way and scare the c*%# out of you! You don't know when or if things are going to blow up in your face! But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.....it just seems like an eternity away!
Miss Teen and I have a great relationship, at least, from my perspective we do! She still enjoys hanging out with her Mum (ie me!) from time to time. I make sure I give her one on one time at least once a week. This is time where there is no husband/father and there is no mini miss to distract me. We go for afternoon tea, for a window shop, for a walk, or we just lay down in my bed. We talk, about everything and nothing. We laugh like crazy people. We do silly and embarrassing things in public. We cry. We share. I have always been open and honest with her to the level I think she can handle. So far, this has worked in my favour, as she is open and honest with me.
As I watch her grow up, my heart bursts with pride. At the same time, my heart breaks with sadness. She is not my little baby anymore. She doesn't need me for everything now, but she does still need me. She has changed. She has a mind of her own, an opinion on everything. What I say no longer is necessarily law in her world. I can no longer protect her from life, from heart ache, from hurt. But at the same time, no she can experience new levels of joy and happiness, success, be proud of herself.
I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming. Confident. Determined. Focused. Yet these same traits that make me proud also drive me insane! When she sets her mind on something, nothing, not even a mere parent, can stand in her way. So when we disagree on something, these days it often leads to raised voices, disgruntled loud sighs, slamming of doors, and lots of exclamations of "fine" & "alright" (and not always from her!). We argue a lot more. I end up frustrated that I cannot make her see my point of view. She ends up frustrated that I am trying to force her to do something or go somewhere she doesn't want to.
Yet, these traits also mean that she has a goal, and nothing stands in her way. She goes after it with a single mindedness that is, amazing. She wants to work in music when she is older. Ideally, she would like to be a singer, a rock star. Most kids dream this at some point. But Maddi takes the desire to a whole new level. She has insisted on music lessons, and is now learning the piano. When we have the finances available, she will also having singing lessons to improve her pronunciation and pitch. She is also saving money to buy a guitar so she can teach herself to play. She wants to get a job as soon as possible so she can pay for her own lessons and equipment.
She is getting herself involved in the music program at school, and tried out for the school musical. She has entered her first Eisteddfod in May, even though she will only have been learning piano for less than 3 months. She practices her craft, both piano and singing, for hours everyday. She studies not only her favourite singers, but their lives, their stories, how they got where they are today. She makes plans, sets goals. She writes motivational quotes and puts them up in her room. She takes care of how she looks, her skin, what she eats, she exercises, all this, with one goal in mind. Her back up plan, should she not "make it" is to teach music, or make a living doing the pub/club circuit so she can still travel and see the world.
Focused. Determined. Confident. = Stubborn. One Minded. Difficult.
Does she have the talent to succeed? I'm not sure. As her parent I am biased.
But I do know she has the determination and drive to succeed!
Being the parent of a teenage girl is hard work. Its emotional. Its mentally draining. It leaves us financially broke all the time. But I am so proud of her and love her to bits. I cannot wait to see what sort of adult she grows up to be, all the while, wanting her to stay little forever.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.